Hegel’s Science of Logic

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The Doctrine of the Notion
Chapter 3 Teleology

§ 1593

Where purposiveness is discerned, an intelligence [Verstand] is assumed as its author, and for the end we therefore demand the Notion's own free Existence. Teleology is especially contrasted with mechanism, in which the determinateness posited in the object, being external, is essentially one in which no self-determination is manifested. The opposition between causae efficientes and causae finalis, between merely efficient and final causes, relates to this distinction; and this distinction, taken in a concrete form, is also made the criterion for deciding whether the absolute essence of the world is to be conceived as blind natural mechanism or as an intelligence that determines itself in accordance with ends. The antinomy between fatalism, along with determinism and freedom, is likewise concerned with the opposition of mechanism and teleology; for the free is the Notion in its Existence.

§ 1594

Earlier metaphysics has treated these concepts as it has treated others; it has for one thing presupposed a certain conception of the world and laboured to show that one or the other concept fitted it, while the opposite one was defective because it failed to explain that conception; and again, while doing this, it has not examined the concept of mechanical cause and of end, to see which possesses truth in and for itself. When this has been established independently, the objective world may present us with mechanical and final causes; but their existence is not the standard of truth: on the contrary, truth is the criterion that decides which of these existences is the true one. Just as the subjective understanding also exhibits errors in itself, so the objective world also exhibits aspects and stages of truth that by themselves are still one-sided, incomplete and only relationships in the sphere of Appearance. If mechanism and purposiveness stand opposed to one another, they cannot for that very reason be taken as indifferent concepts, each of which is correct on its own account, possessing as much validity as the other, the only question being where one or the other may be applied. This equal validity of both rests merely on the fact that they are, that is to say, that we have them both. But since they are opposed, the necessary preliminary question is, which of the two is the true one; and the higher and real question is, whether their truth is not a third concept, or whether one of them is the truth of the other. But the relation of end has proved to be the truth of mechanism — what exhibited itself as chemism is included with mechanism in so far as end is the Notion in free Existence; and to end stands opposed in general the unfreedom of the Notion, its submergence in externality; both of them, therefore, mechanism and chemism, are included under natural necessity; for in the former the Notion does not exist in the object. Since the object as mechanical does not contain self-determination, while in chemism the Notion either has a one-sided Existence in a state of tension, or, in emerging as the unity that disjoins the neutral object into tensed extremes, is external to itself in so far as it sublates this disjunction.

§ 1595

The more the teleological principle was linked with the concept of an extramundane intelligence and to that extent was favoured by piety, the more it seemed to depart from the true investigation of nature, which aims at cognising the properties of nature not as extraneous, but as immanent determinatenesses and accepts only such cognition as a valid comprehension. As end is the Notion itself in its Existence, it may seem strange that the cognition of objects from their Notion appears rather as an unjustified trespass into a heterogeneous element, whereas mechanism, for which the determinateness of an object is a determinateness posited in it externally and by another object, is held to be a more immanent point of view than teleology. Of course mechanism, at least the ordinary unfree mechanism, and also chemism must be regarded as an immanent principle in so far as the external determinant is itself again just such another object, externally determined and indifferent to such determining, or, in the case of chemism, the other object is one likewise chemically determined; in general, an essential moment of the totality always lies in something outside it. These principles therefore remain confined within the same natural form of finitude; yet though they do not seek to go beyond the finite and lead only to finite causes in their explanation of phenomena, which themselves demand a further progress, at the same time they expand themselves, partly into a formal totality in the concept of force, cause, and similar determinations of reflection which are supposed to denote a primariness, and partly also through the abstract universality of a sum total of forces, a whole of reciprocal causes. Mechanism shows itself to be a striving for totality in the fact that it seeks to grasp nature by itself as a whole that for its Notion does not require any other — a totality that is not found in end and the extra-mundane intelligence associated with it.

Now purposiveness shows itself in the first instance as a higher being in general, as an intelligence that externally determines the multiplicity of objects by a unity that exists in and for itself, so that the indifferent determinatenesses of the objects become essential through this relation. In mechanism they become so through the mere form of necessity, their content being indifferent; for they are supposed to remain external, and it is only understanding as such that is supposed to find satisfaction in cognising its own connective principle, abstract identity. In teleology, on the contrary, the content becomes important, for teleology presupposes a Notion, something absolutely determined and therefore self-determining, and so has made a distinction between the relation of the differences and their reciprocal determinedness, that is the form, and the unity that is reflected into itself, a unity that is determined in and for itself and therefore a content. But when the content is otherwise a finite and insignificant one, it contradicts what it is supposed to be; for end, according to its form, is a totality infinite within itself-especially when the activity that operates in accordance with ends is assumed to be an absolute will and intelligence. The reason why teleology has incurred so much the reproach of triviality is that the ends that it exhibited are more important or more trivial, as the case may be; and it was inevitable that the end relation of objects should so often appear trifling, since it appears to be so external and therefore contingent. Mechanism, on the contrary, leaves to the determinatenesses of objects, as regards their import, their contingent status, to which the object is indifferent, and these determinatenesses are not supposed to have, either for the objects or for the subjective intelligence, any higher validity. This principle, therefore, in its context of external necessity gives the consciousness of infinite freedom as compared with teleology, which sets up for something absolute what is trivial and even contemptible in its content, in which the more universal thought can only find itself infinitely cramped and even feel disgusted.

§ 1596

The formal disadvantage from which this teleology immediately suffers is that it only goes as far as external purposiveness. The Notion being thus posited as something formal, then for such teleology the content is also something that for the Notion is given externally in the manifoldness of the objective world — in those very determinatenesses which are also the content of mechanism, but appearing there as something external and contingent. On account of this community of content, it is solely the form of purposiveness by itself that constitutes what is essential in this teleology. In this respect, without as yet attending to the difference of outer and inner purposiveness, the end-relation in general has proved itself to be in and for itself the truth of mechanism. Teleology possesses in general the higher principle, the Notion in its Existence, which is in and for itself the infinite and absolute-a principle of freedom that in the utter certainty of its self-determination is absolutely liberated from the external determining of mechanism.

§ 1597

One of Kant's great services to philosophy consists in the distinction he has made between relative or external, and internal purposiveness; in the latter he has opened up the Notion of life, the Idea, and by so doing has done positively for philosophy what the Critique of Pure Reason did but imperfectly, equivocally, and only negatively, namely, raised it above the determinations of reflection and the relative world of metaphysics. It has been remarked that the opposition of teleology and mechanism is in the first instance the more general opposition of freedom and necessity. Kant has exhibited the opposition in this form among the antinomies of reason, namely, as the third conflict of the transcendental ideas. His exposition, which was referred to earlier, I cite quite briefly, as the gist of it is so simple as to require no detailed analysis, and the peculiar features of the Kantian antinomies have been elucidated in more detail elsewhere.

The thesis of the antinomy here to be considered runs thus: Causality according to natural laws is not the sole causality from which the phenomena of the world can one and all be derived. For their explanation a causality through freedom must be assumed as well.

The antithesis is: There is no freedom, but everything in the world happens solely according to natural laws.

As in the case of the other antinomies, the proof first sets to work apagogically, the opposite of each thesis being assumed; secondly and conversely in order to show the contradictory nature of this assumption, its opposite, which is accordingly the proposition to be proved, is assumed and presupposed as valid. The whole roundabout method of proof could therefore be spared; the proof consists in nothing but the assertorical affirmation of the two opposed propositions.

Thus in order to prove the thesis we have first to assume that there is no other causality than that according to natural laws, that is, according to the necessity of mechanism in general, including chemism. This proposition w e find to be selfcontradictory, because we take natural law to consist just in this, that nothing happens without a cause sufficiently determined a priori, which cause therefore must contain an absolute spontaneity within itself; that is, the assumption opposed to the thesis is contradictory because it contradicts the thesis.

In order to prove the antithesis, we are to postulate that there exists a freedom, as a particular kind of causality, that absolutely initiates a state of things and therefore also a series of consequences of that state. But now, since such a beginning presupposes a state that has no causal connection whatever with its predecessor, it contradicts the law of causality which alone makes unity of experience, and experience at all, possible; in other words the assumption of freedom, which is opposed to the antithesis, cannot be made because it contradicts the antithesis.

§ 1598

What is essentially the same antinomy recurs in the Critique of Teleological Judgment as the opposition between the assertion that all production of material things takes place according to merely mechanical laws and the assertion that some cases of production of material things according to such laws are not possible. The Kantian solution of this antinomy is the same as the general solution of the others; namely that reason can prove neither the one proposition nor the other, because we cannot have a priori any determining principle of the possibility of things according to merely empirical natural laws; that further, therefore, both must be regarded not as objective propositions but as subjective maxims; that on the one hand I am always to reflect on all natural events according to the principle of natural mechanism alone, but that this does not prevent me, when occasion demands it, from investigating certain natural forms in accordance with another maxim, namely, on the principle of final causes; as though now these two maxims, which moreover are supposed to be necessary only for human reason, did not stand in the same opposition as the propositions in question. As was remarked before, this whole standpoint fails to examine the sole question to which philosophic interest demands an answer, namely, which of the two principles possesses truth in and for itself; but for this point of view it makes no difference whether the principles are to be regarded as objective, which means here, externally existing determinations of nature, or as mere maxims of a subjective cognition; rather, that is a subjective, that is, a contingent conjunction which, as the occasion demands, applies one or the other maxim according as it holds it to be appropriate to the given objects, but without further enquiry into the truth of these determinations themselves, whether these are determinations of the objects or of cognition.

§ 1599

However unsatisfactory, therefore, the discussion of the teleological principle is in respect of its essential point of view, nevertheless the position that Kant gives to it is worthy of note. In ascribing it to a reflective judgment, he makes it a connecting middle term between the universal of reason and the individual of intuition; further, he distinguishes this reflective judgment from the determining judgment, the latter merely subsuming the particular under the universal. Such a universal which merely subsumes, is an abstraction which only becomes concrete in something else, in the particular. End, on the contrary, is the concrete universal, which possesses in its own self the moment of particularity and externality and is therefore active and the urge to repel itself from itself. The Notion, as end, is of course an objective judgment in which one determination, the subject, namely the concrete Notion, is self-determined, while the other is not merely a predicate but external objectivity. But the end relation is not for that reason a reflective judging that considers external objects only according to a unity, as though an intelligence had given this unity for the convenience of our cognitive faculty; on the contrary it is the absolute truth that judges objectively and determines external objectivity absolutely. Thus the end relation is more than judgment; it is the syllogism of the self-subsistent free Notion that unites itself with itself through objectivity.

§ 1600

End has shown itself to be the third to mechanism and chemism it is their truth. Since it still stands within the sphere of objectivity, or of the immediacy of the total Notion, it is still affected by externality as such and is confronted by an objective world to which it relates itself. From this side, mechanical causality, which in general is to be taken as including chemism, still makes its appearance in this end relation which is the external one, but as subordinate to it and as sublated in and for itself.

As regards the more precise relationship, the mechanical object is, as an immediate totality, indifferent to its being determined, and on the other hand is equally indifferent to being a determinant. This external determinedness has now developed into self-determination and accordingly the Notion, which in the object was merely the inner, or what is the same thing, merely the outer Notion, is now posited; end is, in the first instance, just this very Notion that is external to the Notion of mechanism. Thus for chemism too, end is the self-determining principle which brings back into the unity of the Notion the external determinedness by which it is conditioned.

From this can be seen the nature of the subordination of the two previous forms of the objective process; the other, which in them lies in the infinite progress, is the Notion posited at first as external to them, which is end; not only is the Notion their substance, but externality, too, is for them an essential moment constituting their determinateness. Thus mechanical or chemical technique, through its character of being externally determined, offers itself spontaneously to the end relation, which we have now to consider more closely. ®


§ 1601

In the centrality of the objective sphere, which is an indifference to determinateness, the subjective Notion has first rediscovered and posited the negative point of unity; but in chemism it has posited the objectivity of the Notion determinations by which it is first posited as concrete objective Notion. Its determinateness or simple difference now possesses within itself the determinateness of externality, and its simple unity is consequently the unity that repels itself from itself and in so doing maintains itself. End therefore is the subjective Notion as an essential effort and urge to posit itself externally. In this process it is exempt from transition. It is neither a force expressing itself nor a substance and cause manifesting itself in accidents and effects. Force that has not expressed itself is only an abstract inner; that is, it is only in its expression, to which it must be solicited, that it has a determinate being.

§ 1602

Similarly with cause and substance; since they have actuality only in the accidents and the effect, their activity is transition, against which they do not maintain themselves in freedom. End may indeed also be defined as force and cause, but these expressions fulfil only an incomplete side of its significance; if they are to be predicated of it as it truly is, they can be predicated only in a way that sublates their Notion: as a force that solicits itself to expression, as a cause that is cause of itself, or whose effect is immediately cause.

§ 1603

When purposiveness is ascribed to an intelligence, as was mentioned above, then in doing so regard is had to the specific element of the content. But in general end is to be taken as the rational in its concrete existence. It manifests rationality because it is the concrete Notion, which holds the objective difference within its absolute unity. It is therefore essentially in its own self syllogism. It is the self-equal universal and this, as containing self-repellent negativity, is in the first instance universal, and therefore as yet indeterminate, activity; but because this is negative relation-to-self it determines itself immediately, giving itself the moment of particularity, which, as likewise the totality of the form reflected into itself, is content as against the posited differences of the form. Equally immediately this negativity, through its relation-to-self, is absolute reflection of the form into itself and individuality. On the one hand this reflection is the inner universality of the subject, while on the other it is a reflection outwards; and to this extent end is still a subjective end and its activity is directed against external objectivity.

§ 1604

For end is the Notion that has come to itself in objectivity; the determinateness it has given itself in that sphere is that of objective indifference to and externality of its determinedness; its self-repellent negativity is, therefore, one whose moments, being determinations only of the Notion itself, also have the form of objective indifference to one another. Even in the formal judgement, subject and predicate are determined as self-subsistent in their relationship; but their self-subsistence is so far only abstract universality. It has now attained the determination of objectivity; but as moment of the Notion, this complete difference is enclosed within the simple unity of the Notion. Now in so far as end is this total reflection of objectivity into itself and is so immediately, in the first place, the self-determination or particularity as simple reflection into self is distinct from the concrete form, and is a determinate content. From this side, end is finite, although in respect of its form it is infinite subjectivity. Secondly, because its determinateness has the form of subjective indifference, it has the shape of a presupposition, and from this side its finitude consists in its being confronted by an objective, mechanical and chemical world to which its activity relates itself as to something already there; its self-determining activity is thus, in its identity, immediately external to itself and as much reflection outwards as reflection-into-self. To this extent end still has a genuinely extramundane existence — to the extent, namely, that it is confronted by this objectivity, just as the latter on the other hand confronts it as a mechanical and chemical whole not yet determined and pervaded by the end. ®

§ 1605

Accordingly, the movement of end can now be expressed as having for its aim to sublate its presupposition, that is the immediacy of the object, and to posit the object as determined by the Notion. This negative attitude towards the object is just as much a negative attitude towards itself, a sublating of the subjectivity of the end. Positively, it is the realisation of the end, namely, the union of objective being with it, so that this being, which, as a moment of the end is immediately the determinateness identical with it, shall appear as external determinateness, and conversely the objective as presupposition shall instead be posited as determined by the Notion. End is in its own self the urge to realise itself; the determinateness of the moments of the Notion is externality; but their simplicity in the unity of the Notion is inadequate to the nature of this unity, and the Notion therefore repels itself from itself. This repulsion is in general the resolution [Entschluss] of the relation of the negative unity to itself, whereby it is exclusive individuality; but by this exclusion [Ausschliessen] it resolves itself [sich entschliesst] or opens up itself [schliesst sich auf], because this exclusion is a self-determining, as positing of its own self. On the one hand subjectivity in determining itself makes itself into particularity, gives itself a content which, enclosed within the unity of the Notion, is still an inner one; but this positing, the simple reflection-into-self, is immediately, as we have seen, also a presupposing; and in the same moment in which the subject of the end determines itself, it is related to an indifferent, external objectivity which is to be equated by it with the said inner determinateness, that is to say, is to be posited as something determined by the Notion, and in the first instance as means.


§ 1606

The first immediate positing in end is at one and the same time the positing of an internality, that is, of something determined as posited, and the presupposing of an objective world which is indifferent to the determination of end. But the subjectivity of end is absolute negative unity: its second determining is, therefore, the sublating of this presupposition altogether; this sublating is the return-into-self in so far as by it is sublated that moment of the first negative, the positing of the negative as against the subject, the external object. But as against the presupposition or the immediacy of the determining, as against the objective world, it is as yet only the first negation, itself immediate and therefore external. This positing is therefore not yet the realised end itself, but only the initial step towards it. The object thus determined is so far only the means.

§ 1607

The end unites itself through a means with objectivity, and in objectivity with itself. The means is the middle term of the syllogism. The end, because it is finite, requires a means for its realisation-a means, that is a middle term, that at the same time has the shape of an external existence indifferent to the end itself and its realisation. The absolute Notion possesses mediation within itself in such a manner that its first positing is not a presupposing whose object would have indifferent externality for its fundamental determination; on the contrary, the world as a creation has only the form of such externality, but its fundamental determination is really constituted by its negativity and positedness. The finitude of end consists accordingly in this, that its determining is altogether external to itself, and so its first determining, as we have seen, divides itself into a positing and a presupposing; therefore the negation of this determining, too, is so far only in one aspect already a reflection-into-self; in the other, it is in fact merely a first negation; in other words the very reflection-into-self is also external to itself and a reflection outwards.

§ 1608

The means is therefore the formal middle term of a formal syllogism; it is external as against the extreme of the subjective end, and therefore also to the extreme of the objective end; just as particularity in the formal syllogism is an indifferent medius terminus that can be replaced by others. Further, just as this particularity is middle term only by being determinateness in relation to one extreme and a universal in relation to the other, and therefore owes its mediating determination to its relation to other terms, so the means, too, is only the mediating middle term, first because it is an immediate object, secondly because it is a means by virtue of the relation it possesses externally to the extreme of the end — a relation that is for it a form to which it is indifferent.

§ 1609

Notion and objectivity are therefore only externally combined in the means, which is accordingly a merely mechanical object. The relation of the object to the end is a premise, or the immediate relation which with regard to the end has been shown to be reflection into itself, the means, is an inhering predicate; its objectivity is subsumed under the determination of end which on account of its concretion is universality. By virtue of this determination of end present in the means, the latter is now also subsumptive in relation to the other extreme of the initially still indeterminate objectivity. Conversely, in contrast to the subjective end, the means, as immediate objectivity, has a universality of existence that the subjective individuality of the end still lacks. The end being thus in the first instance only an external determinateness in the means, it is itself, as a negative unity, outside it; just as the means is a mechanical object that possesses the end only as a determinateness, not as simple concretion of the totality. As the unifying element, however, the middle term must itself be the totality of the end. It has been seen that the determination of end in the means is at the same time reflection-into-self; it is in so far formal self-relation, since the determinateness, as real indifference, is posited as the objectivity of the means. But for this very reason, this, in one respect, pure subjectivity, is at the same time also activity. In the subjective end the negative relation-to-self is still identical with determinateness as such, with content and externality. But in the incipient objectification of the end, in the becoming-other of the simple Notion, these moments separate themselves, or conversely, it is in such separation that this becoming-other or externality consists.

§ 1610

Consequently, this whole middle term is itself the totality of the syllogism, in which the abstract activity and the external means constitute the extremes, and their middle term is constituted by that determinateness of the object by the end, which makes it a means. But further, universality is the relation of the activity of the end and the means. The means is an object, in itself the totality of the Notion; it has no power of resistance against the end, as it has in the first instance against another immediate object. To the end, therefore, which is the posited Notion, it is absolutely penetrable, and receptive of this communication, because it is in itself identical with the end. But now it is also posited as penetrable by the Notion, for in centrality it is an object striving towards the negative unity; similarly in chemism, it is as a neutral and also as a different object, no longer self-subsistent. Its lack of self-subsistence consists precisely in its being only in itself the totality of the Notion; but the latter is a being-for-self. Consequently the object has the character of being powerless against the end and of serving it; the end is the object's subjectivity or soul, that has in the object its external side.

§ 1611

The object, being in this manner immediately subjected to the end, is not an extreme of the syllogism; but this relation constitutes one of its premises. But the means has also a side from which it still has self-subsistence as against the end. The objectivity that is connected with the end in the means is still external to it, because it is only immediately so connected; and therefore the presupposition still persists. The activity of the end through the means is for that reason still directed against this presupposition, and the end is activity and no longer merely an urge and a striving, precisely because the moment of objectivity is posited in the means in its determinateness as something external, and the simple unity of the Notion now has this objectivity as such in itself.


§ 1612

1. The end in its relation to the means is already reflected into itself, but its objective return into itself is not yet posited. The activity of the end through its means is still directed against objectivity as an original presupposition; the nature of this activity is precisely this, to be indifferent to the determinateness. Were the activity again to consist in merely determining the immediate objectivity, the product would again be merely a means, and so on to infinity; the outcome would be only a means suitable to the end, but not the objectivity of the end itself. Therefore the end which is active in its means, in determining the immediate object must not do so as a determinant external to it, and consequently the object must spontaneously conform to the unity of the Notion; in other words, the former external activity of the end through its means must determine itself as mediation and sublate its own self.

§ 1613

The relation of the activity of the end through the means to the external object is in the first instance the second premise of the syllogism — an immediate relation of the middle term to the other extreme. It is immediate because the middle term has an external object in it and the other extreme is another such object. The means is effective and potent against the latter because its own object is connected with the self-determining activity, while for the other object the immediate determinateness that it possesses is an indifferent one. Their process in this relation is none other than the mechanical or chemical one; in this objective externality the previous relationships emerge but under the dominance of the end. These processes, however, as they themselves showed, spontaneously return into the end. If, therefore, in the first instance, the relation of the means to the external object it has to work upon is an immediate one, it has already at an earlier stage exhibited itself as a syllogism, the end having proved itself to be their true middle term and unity. As, therefore, the means is the object that stands on the side of the end and has within it the activity of the end, the mechanism that is found here is at the same time the return of objectivity into itself, into the Notion, which however is already presupposed as the end; the negative attitude of purposive activity towards the object is thus not an external attitude, but the alteration and transition of objectivity in its own self into the end.

§ 1614

That the end relates itself immediately to an object and makes it a means, as also that through this means it determines another object, may be regarded as violence [Gewalt] in so far as the end appears to be of quite another nature than the object, and the two objects similarly are mutually independent totalities. But that the end posits itself in a mediate relation with the object and interposes another object between itself and it, may be regarded as the cunning of reason. The finitude of rationality has, as remarked, this side, that the end enters into relationship with the presupposition, that is, with the externality of the object. In the immediate relation to the object, it would itself enter into the sphere of mechanism or chemism and thereby be subject to contingency and the loss of its determination as the Notion that is in and for itself. But as it is, it puts forward an object as means, allows it to wear itself out in its stead, exposes it to attrition and shields itself behind it from mechanical violence.

§ 1615

Further, since the end is finite it has a finite content; accordingly it is not an absolute, nor simply something that in its own nature is rational. But the means is the external middle term of the syllogism which is the realisation of the end; in the means, therefore, the rationality in it manifests itself as such by maintaining itself in this external other, and precisely through this externality. To this extent the means is superior to the finite ends of external purposiveness: the plough is more honourable than are immediately the enjoyments procured by it and which are ends. The tool lasts, while the immediate enjoyments pass away and are forgotten. In his tools man possesses power over external nature, even though in respect of his ends he is, on the contrary, subject to it. ®

§ 1616

But the end does not merely keep outside the mechanical process; rather it maintains itself in it and is its determination. The end, as the Notion that freely exists in face of the object and its process and is a self-determining activity, is no less the absolute truth of mechanism, and therefore in mechanism it is only meeting with itself. The power of the end over the object is this explicit identity and its activity is the manifestation of it. The end as content is the determinateness that exists in and for itself, which appears in the object as indifferent and external; but the activity of the end is, on the one hand, the truth of the process and as negative unity the sublating of the illusory show of externality. From the abstract point of view, it is the indifferent determinateness of the object that equally externally is replaced by another; but the simple abstraction of the determinateness is in its truth the totality of the negative, the concrete Notion that posits externality within itself.

§ 1617

The content of the end is its negativity as simple particularity reflected into itself, distinguished from its totality as form. On account of this simplicity whose determinateness is in and for itself the totality of the Notion, the content appears as the permanently identical element in the realisation of the end. The teleological process is the translation of the Notion that has a distinct concrete existence as Notion into objectivity; this translation into a presupposed other is seen to be the meeting of the Notion with itself through itself. ®

§ 1618

Now the content of the end is this identity that has a concrete existence in the form of the identical. In every transition the Notion maintains itself; for example, when cause becomes effect it is only the cause meeting with itself in the effect; but in the teleological transition it is the Notion that as such already has a concrete existence as cause, as the absolute concrete unity that is free in the face of objectivity and its external determinability. The externality into which the end translates itself is itself, as we have seen, already posited as moment of the Notion, as form of its immanent differentiation. The end possesses, therefore, in externality its own moment; and the content, as content of the concrete unity, is its simple form, which not merely remains implicitly self-identical in the distinct moments of the end — as subjective end, as means and mediating activity, and as objective end — but also has a concrete existence as the abiding self-identical.

§ 1619

It can therefore be said of the teleological activity that in it the end is the beginning, the consequent the ground, the effect the cause, that it is a becoming of what has become, that in it only what already exists comes into existence, and so forth; which means that in general all the determinations of relationship belonging to the sphere of reflection or of immediate being have lost their distinctions, and what was enunciated as an other, such as end, consequent, effect, etc., no longer has in the end relation the determination of an other, but on the contrary is posited as identical with the simple Notion.

§ 1620

2. Now examining more closely the product of the teleological activity, we see that it contains the end only externally, in so far as it is an absolute presupposition over against the subjective end; that is to say, in so far as we stop short at the point of view that the purposive activity through its' means is only in a mechanical relation with the object, and instead of positing one indifferent determinateness of the latter posits another equally external to it. A determinateness of this kind, which an object possesses through the end, differs in general from another merely mechanical one by the fact that the former is moment of a unity, so that although the determinateness is indeed external to the object, yet it is not in its own self something merely external. The object that exhibits such a unity is a whole, towards which its parts, its own externality, is indifferent; a determinate concrete unity which unites within itself distinct relations and determinatenesses. This unity which cannot be comprehended from the specific nature of the object, and as regards determinate content is another content than that peculiar to the object, is not by itself a mechanical determinateness, but it is still mechanically related to the object. Just as in this product of the purposive activity the content of the end and the content of the object are external to each other, so a like relation holds between the determinations of this activity in the other moments of the syllogism — in the unifying middle term, between the purposive activity and the object which is means, and in the subjective end, the other extreme, between the infinite form as totality of the Notion and its content. According to the relation by which the subjective end is united with objectivity, both premises alike — the relation of the object determined as means to the still external object, and the relation of the subjective end to the object which is made means — are immediate relations. The syllogism therefore suffers from the defect of the formal syllogism in general, that the relations of which it consists, are not themselves conclusions or mediations, but in fact already presuppose the conclusion for whose production they are supposed to serve as means.

§ 1621

If we consider one of the premises, the immediate relation of the subjective end to the object which thereby becomes the means, then the former cannot immediately relate itself to the latter; for the latter is no less immediate than the object of the other extreme, in which the end is to be realised through mediation. Since they are thus posited as diverse, it is necessary to interpolate between this objectivity and the subjective end a means of their relation; but this means is likewise an object already determined by the end, and between that object's objectivity and the teleological determination a new means must be interpolated, and so on to infinity. Thus there is posited the infinite progress of mediation. The same thing takes place in respect of the other premise, the relation of the means to the as yet undetermined object. Since they are absolutely self-subsistent, they can only be united in a third, and so on to infinity. Or conversely, since the premises already presuppose the conclusion, the conclusion, being based on these merely immediate premises, can only be imperfect. The conclusion or the product of the purposive act is nothing but an object determined by an end external to it; consequently it is the same thing as the means. In such a product, therefore, only a means, not a realised end, has resulted, or the end has not truly attained an objectivity in it.

§ 1622

It is therefore a matter of complete indifference whether we regard an object determined by external end as a realised end or only as a means; the determination here is relative, external to the object itself and not objective. All objects, therefore, in which an external end is realised, are equally only a means of the end. Whatever is intended to be used for realising an end and to be taken essentially as means, is a means which, in accordance with its destiny, is to be destroyed. But the object that is supposed to contain the realised end, and to represent the objectivity of the end, is also perishable; it too fulfils its end not by a tranquil existence in which it preserves itself, but only in so far as it is worn away; for only thus does it conform to the unity of the Notion, in that its externality, that is, its objectivity, sublates itself in that unity. A house, a clock, may appear as ends in relation to the tools employed for their production; but the stones and beams, or wheels and axles, and so on, which constitute the actuality of the end fulfil that end only through the pressure that they suffer, through the chemical processes with air, light, and water to which they are exposed and that deprive man of them by their friction and so forth. Accordingly, they fulfil their destiny only by being used and worn away and they correspond to what they are supposed to be only through their negation. They are not positively united with the end, because they possess self-determination only externally and are only relative ends, or essentially nothing but means.

§ 1623

These ends, as we have seen, have in general a limited content; their form is the infinite self-determination of the Notion, which through that content has limited itself to an external individuality. The limited content makes these ends inadequate to the infinity of the Notion and reduces them to an untruth; such a determinateness is already through the sphere of necessity, through being, at the mercy of becoming and alteration and must pass away.

§ 1624

3. Thus we obtain the result that external purposiveness which has as yet only the form of teleology, really only comes to be a means, not an objective end — because the subjective end remains an external subjective determination; or, in so far as the end is active and realises itself, though only in a means it is still connected with the object immediately, immersed in it; it is itself an object, and the end, one may say, does not attain to a means, because the realisation of the end is a prior requirement before that realisation could be brought about through a means.

§ 1625

In fact, however, the result is not only an external end relation, but the truth of it, an internal end relation and an objective end. The externality of the object, self-subsistent as against the Notion, which the end presupposes for itself is posited in this presupposition as an unessential illusory show and is also already sublated in and for itself; the activity of the end is therefore, strictly speaking, only the representation of this illusory show and the sublating of it. As the Notion has shown us, the first object becomes by communication a means, because it is in itself totality of the Notion, and its determinateness which is none other than externality itself is posited merely as something external and unessential and therefore appears within the end itself as the end's own moment not as a self-subsistent moment relatively to the end. Thus the determination of the object as a means is purely an immediate one. Accordingly, in order to make that object a means, the subjective end requires to use no violence against the object, no reinforcement against it other than the reinforcing of itself; the resolve [Entschluss], the explication [Aufschluss], this determination of itself, is the merely posited externality of the object, which appears therein as immediately subjected to the end and possesses no other determination counter to it than that of the nullity of the being-in-and-for-self.

§ 1626

The second sublating of objectivity by objectivity differs from the above as follows: the former sublation, as the first, is the end in objective immediacy, and therefore the second is not merely the sublating of a first immediacy but of both, of the objective as something merely posited, and of the immediate. In this way, the negativity returns into it self in such a manner that it is equally a restoration of the objectivity but of an objectivity identical with it, and in this it is as at the same time also a positing of the objectivity as an external objectivity determined only by the end. Through the latter circumstance this product remains as before also a means; through the former it is objectivity that is identical with the Notion, the realised end, in which the side of being a means is the reality of the end itself. In the realised end the means vanishes, for it would be the objectivity that is as yet only immediately subsumed under the end, and in the realised end objectivity is present as the return of the end into itself; further, with it there also vanishes the mediation itself as a relation of something external, on the one side, into the concrete identity of the objective end, and on the other, into the same identity as abstract identity and immediacy of existence.

§ 1627

Herein is also contained the mediation that was demanded for the first premise, the immediate relation of the end to the object. The realised end is also means, and conversely the truth of the means is just this, to be itself a real end, and the first sublating of objectivity is already also the second, just as the second proved to contain the first, as well. That is to say, the Notion determines itself; its determinateness is external indifference, which is immediately determined in the resolution [Entschluss] as sublated, namely as internal, subjective indifference, and at the same time as a presupposed object. Its further passage out from itself which appeared, namely, as an immediate communication and subsumption of the presupposed object under it, is at the same time a sublating of the former determinateness of externality that was internal and enclosed within the Notion, that is, posited as sublated, and at the same time a sublating of the presupposition of an object; consequently, this apparently first sublating of the indifferent objectivity is already the second as well, a reflection-into-self that has passed through mediation, and the realised end.

§ 1628

Since the Notion here in the sphere of objectivity, where its determinateness has the form of indifferent externality, is in reciprocal action with itself, the exposition of its movement here becomes doubly difficult and involved, because this movement is itself double and a first is always a second also. In the Notion taken by itself, that is in its subjectivity, its difference from itself appears as an immediate identical totality on its own account; but since its determinateness here is indifferent externality, its identity with itself in this externality is also immediately again self-repulsion, so that what is determined as external and indifferent to the identity is the identity itself; and the identity as identity, as reflected into itself, is rather its other. Only by keeping this firmly in mind can we grasp the objective return of the Notion into itself, that is, the true objectification of the Notion — grasp that each of the single moments through which this mediation runs its course is itself the entire syllogism of those moments.

§ 1629

Thus the original inner externality of the Notion through which it is self-repellent unity, the end and the striving of the end towards objectification, is the immediate positing or presupposition of an external object; the self-determination is also the determination of an external object not determined by the Notion; and conversely, the latter determination is self-determination, that is, externality sublated and posited as internal — or the certainty of the unessentiality of the external object. Of the second relation, the determination of the object as means, it has just been shown how it is within itself the mediation of the end in the object with itself. Similarly, the third relation, mechanism, which proceeds under the dominance of the end and sublates the object by the object, is on the one hand a sublating of the means, of the object already posited as sublated and is therefore a second sublating and a reflection-into-self; while on the other hand it is a first determining of the external object. The latter, as has been remarked, is the production again in the realised end only of a means; the subjectivity of the finite Notion, contemptuously rejecting the means, has attained to nothing better in its goal. But this reflection that the end is reached in the means, and that in the fulfilled end, means and mediation are preserved, is the last result of the external end-relation, a result in which that relation has sublated itself, and which it has exhibited as its truth. The third syllogism that was considered last is distinguished by the fact that it is, in the first place, the subjective purposive activity of the preceding syllogisms, but is also the spontaneous sublation of external objectivity, and therewith of externality in general, and hence is the totality in its positedness.

§ 1630

First we saw subjectivity, the Notion's being-for-self, pass over; into its in-itself, objectivity, to be followed by the reappearance in the latter of the negativity of the Notion's being-for-self; in that negativity the Notion has determined itself in such a manner that its particularity is an external objectivity, or it has determined itself as a simple concrete unity whose externality is its self-determination.

The movement of the end has now reached the stage where the moment of externality is not merely posited in the Notion, where the end is not merely an ought-to-be and a striving to realise itself, but as a concrete totality is identical with the immediate objectivity. This identity is on the one hand the simple Notion and the equally immediate objectivity, but on the other hand, it is just as essentially a mediation, and only through the latter as a self-sublating mediation is it that simple immediacy; the Notion is therefore essentially this: to be distinct as an explicit identity from its implicit objectivity, and thereby to possess externality, yet in this external totality to be the totality's self-determining identity. As such, the Notion is now the Idea. ®

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